Did you know? You can steal your house key using your smartphone

What can our smartphones do? Almost everything. The other day we were convinced that they are even able to diagnose diabetes mellitus at an early stage, using only one camera and flash. The device shines through the skin and thus determines the damage to the vessels, after which the artificial intelligence analyzes the information received and makes a conclusion about the presence or absence of the disease. This technique has already shown its effectiveness in the laboratory. Therefore, against its background, the method of stealing keys from keyholes using a smartphone no longer looks like something incredible.

Door lock

Even a regular door lock can be broken using a smartphone

Scientists from the National University of Singapore have developed a technique for creating a mold of a door lock key that is completely virtual and does not involve the use of additional equipment. That is, in order to fix all the projections and recesses on the key, there is no need to apply it to plasticine or soap. A smartphone with specialized software will be enough. Still don't believe it? Well, in vain.

How to get the key model


The smartphone's microphone will record the sound of opening the lock, and then the AI ​​will generate a 3D model of the key

The technique in question is based on the built-in microphone and the smartphone's ability to pick up ambient sounds in real time. As soon as the user takes out the key and inserts it into the door lock, the device starts recording and fixes the sound track of unlocking the lock. It would seem that this can give? But the sound that the lock pins make when the key touches them can be used to reproduce a three-dimensional model of the lock. All that remains is to create a key based on the information received and unlock the door with it.

The software that records the sound of the door opening is implemented in the SpiKey application format. Of course, it is not available either in the App Store or on Google Play due to its danger, but scientists at the National University of Singapore have already convinced of its effectiveness. According to them, the key generation accuracy is quite high. But the point is not in the intellectuality of the technique used, but in the fact that most locks and keys are very similar to each other. Therefore, in order not to be mistaken, SpiKey issues three keys at once, which correspond as much as possible to the sound information received by the application.

How to find the key to the lock

Lock device

The pins make characteristic sounds, based on which you can choose the key

SpiKey quite accurately defines the shape of the key that would be suitable for unlocking a particular lock. For the formation of a three-dimensional model, special algorithms are responsible that decode the received sound signal and, on its basis, select the most suitable keys. At the moment there are more than 330 thousand keys in the SpiKey database. The application can provide more than 5 keys to choose from, among which it is guaranteed there will be one that can unlock the door, and 3 of them will be highlighted as the most suitable, the researchers said.

In theory, the SpiKey application can be launched both on the smartphone of a stranger who is recording his victim, and on the smartphone of the victim himself. It will not be difficult for him to penetrate there. Advanced fraudsters, for example, can send an application as part of some other program that careless users download from the Internet. Then, all that remains for the fraudster is to wait until the lock is opened and a record is sent with information about the shape of the most likely keys.

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